12 Genealogy-Related Twitter Accounts to Follow in 2018

by | Jan 13, 2018 | 16 comments

Twitter for #Genealogy

I joined Twitter back in 2007. At that time, it was still thought of as the “wild west” of social media, and it had been embraced by very few genealogists. However, over the past decade, thousands of genealogists have joined the fun and are “tweeting” regularly about #genealogy.

That said… I’ll admit that I’m amazed at the number of people who say they just don’t “get” Twitter. They claim that there are “too many conversations” going on at the same time, and they “just can’t follow them all.”

Well, I’ll let you in on a secret: you don’t need to follow them all.

Twitter is like being at a big cocktail party, with dozens of conversations going on all around you. You listen a bit over here, listen a bit over there, make a few comments of your own… your attention wanders all over the room.

And that’s ok.

So, don’t shy away from Twitter because you think there’s too much going on. Join the party, take a listen, and jump in when you’re ready.

You can start by following ME at @eliz_oneal. 😊

 

Why Twitter?

Founded in 2006, Twitter is one of the oldest social media platforms that are still relevant today.

Twitter is well-known for its strict character limit, which spawned the term “micro-blogging.” However, Twitter recently increased the previous limit of 140 characters to 280 and has now rolled this feature out to all users, making it easier to express yourself while still maintaining some degree of brevity.

Unlike other social media platforms (I’m talking to you, Facebook), you can post to Twitter multiple times a day without being labeled a “spammer.” In fact, multiple posts are encouraged. Even sharing the same post multiple times is a-ok.

And here’s why: the average lifespan of a tweet is approximately 15–18 minutes.1

Whatever you put out there is only going to last for a short while before being lost in the vast jungle of tweets. Not everyone is going to see what you post anyway.

So… join the party and tweet away! 

 

Why these 12 accounts?

It was mostly subjective, but I did have a few guidelines:

  • Must tweet regularly about genealogy, history, DNA, maps, archeology, social history, and/or other topics of interest to genealogists. Bonus points if they make me giggle on occasion.
  • Tweets are more than just links to their own blog or website. Social media is an important and necessary tool for promoting your blog, website, YouTube videos, books, speaking engagements, etc., etc., but constant self-promotion makes for a dull Twitter feed.
  • Enriches the genealogy community by engaging with and retweeting others. Sharing is caring, and social media is meant to be social. These accounts have Real People behind them.
  • NO politics. We get enough of that everywhere else.
Want to know who's tweeting about #genealogy? Find out who to follow HERE! Click To Tweet

 

Twelve to Follow

Ancestry Twitter Account

Ancestry @ancestry

This is, of course, the Twitter account of Ancestry.com. Their posts are fun, engaging, and almost never fail to make me smile. One of my recent favorites was the challenge to describe your family history research using only emojis. Here’s mine: ❓😡🐌😝💔😃🇨🇮🇫🇷 🇺🇸 🇬🇧🇨🇦🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 📕🖥📷📞👽🔬✈💗

 

 

Conference Keeper Twitter

Conference Keeper @ConfKeep

Are you a genealogist who likes to attend conferences, enter contests, or submit speaker proposals? What am I saying… of course you are. Then, you NEED to follow this account. Seriously, if it’s happening in the geneaverse, Conference Keeper knows and is tweeting about it. #neversleeps

 

 

David Allen Lambert Twitter

David Allen Lambert @DLGenealogist

There is never a dull moment on David Allen Lambert’s Twitter feed. Somehow, the NEHGS Chief Genealogist regularly finds time to tweet about interesting, unusual, and often personal things. The recent tribute to his mom – with a baby pic of himself – was very sweet.

 

 

Family Tree DNA Twitter

Family Tree DNA @FamilyTreeDNA

As you might expect, the focus of Family Tree DNA’s Twitter feed is DNA. And they enjoy sharing in your excitement when you make a DNA discovery (especially one using their product). But you’ll also find tweets about history, archeology, biology, medicine, and lots more. Honestly, I had no idea that David Bowie’s real name was David Robert Jones and he was worried that he would be confused with Davy Jones. #asif

 

 

#genchat Twitter

#genchat @_genchat and #genchatDNA @genchatDNA

Looking for geneabuds to chat with? You’ll find them a-plenty when you follow #genchat and #genchatDNA. These genealogy chat groups are fun, educational, and truly are the “FASTEST 60 minutes of your life.” The #genchat group meets on Friday nights, and #genchatDNA meets on Saturday nights. Visit the #genchat website for a list of topics for 2018.

 

 

GeneaBloggersTRIBE Twitter

GeneaBloggersTRIBE @GeneaBlogTRIBE

ICYMI: The former GeneaBloggers is now GeneaBloggersTRIBE. Follow this Twitter account for tips on blogging, social media, website security, and other issues of importance to genealogy bloggers.

 

 

HISTORY Twitter

HISTORY @history

Love history? Then you’ll want to follow HISTORY, the official Twitter account of The History Channel. Their Twitter feed never fails to inform, entertain, and make you say, “Hmmm.” I’m still giggling at this spot-on commercial about a man waiting (im)patiently for his DNA results to arrive.

 

 

Marian B Wood Twitter

Marian Burk Wood @MarianBWood

Marian’s Twitter feed is upbeat, positive, and full of interesting tidbits. She puts the “social” in social media by frequently commenting and responding to others instead of just retweeting links.

 

 

Melissa Barker Twitter

Melissa Barker @TNArchivist

A Certified Archives Manager, Melissa Barker tweets about historic preservation, archival products and tips, and other topics of interest. If you’ve got an item that needs to be preserved, Melissa can tell you how to do it. She also has an uncanny knowledge of which Kindle books are currently free or on sale, so be sure to take a look!

 

 

Melissa "Genealogy Girl Talks" Twitter

Melissa (Genealogy Girl Talks) @ggirltalk

You might know Melissa Dickerson (a.k.a. “Genealogy Girl Talks”) as the “girl” behind the #genealogyphotoaday meme on Instagram. As such, you can expect to see many family history-related photos on her Twitter feed. In addition, she frequently shares tweets from others and promotes genealogy-related Twitter events. And she had time to crochet this hat.

 

 

RootsTech Twitter

RootsTech @RootsTechConf

If you’re planning to attend the 2018 RootsTech Conference – which you absolutely should – this is the account to follow. You’ll want to stay up-to-date with all the RootsTech events, speakers, and other fun happenings.

 

 

Sir Leprechaun Rabbit Twitter

SirLeprechaunRabbit (The Bunny Bartender) @leprchaunrabbit

Last, but not least, Sir Leprechaun Rabbit will keep you informed and entertained about all things genealogy (and rabbits). He is one of the hosts of #genchat and #genchatDNA (see above), and is really just a lot of fun. I had no idea how closely he resembles a Minion until I saw this photo in his feed.

 

Did I miss anyone?

Which are your favorite genealogy-related Twitter accounts? Tell us below, in the comments!

 

 

My Descendant's Ancestors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

16 Comments

  1. Rick Womack

    Thanks for this post – the 4 criteria you use are spot on.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      You’re welcome, Rick! It was really hard to pick just 12. FWIW, I decided on 12 because it’s alliterative with Twitter, and it’s a manageable number. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Marian Wood

    Oh, Elizabeth, I am thrilled to be included in your dozen must-read Twitter list. I follow each and every one of your picks (and I follow YOU) and find these folks’ tweets interesting, entertaining, and full of good ideas! TY so much.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      You’re quite welcome, Marian! Your Twitter posts are always a bright spot in my day! 😀

      Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      Hi, bvillareal! This was a post about Twitter accounts, so I would not have included a website or blog. 🙂

      Reply
      • bvillareal

        Sorry, I should have realized that. I just wanted to add my two cents 🙂

        Reply
      • bvillareal

        P.S. Thanks for the article.

        Reply
  3. Sean

    I suppose the History twitter feed meets your criteria, but it’s really not a genealogy site (and is becoming less and less a history site). Inclusion on this list suggests that we’ve run out of notable genealogy-specific twitter feeds after eleven. Which is a pity, because this list is incomplete without The Legal Genealogist @legalgen.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      Hi Sean, thanks for your comment! You’re right that HISTORY was an unusual selection. Remember, I did say the list was “subjective,” which translates to “stuff I like.” Please note that criteria #1 includes tweets that are not only about genealogy, but also “history, DNA, maps, archeology, social history, and/or other topics of interest to genealogists.” HISTORY is not always about history, but they do tend to hit the other categories.

      And I completely agree that @legalgen is fabulous! If I was writing a post about must-read blogs, I would absolutely include her. However, if you look at her Twitter feed, you’ll see a string of links back to her website. This excludes her from the list based on criteria #2. That shouldn’t preclude anyone from following her, of course. Her blog is amazing! 🙂

      Reply
  4. True Lewis

    @blackprogen #BlackProGen — A group of professional genealogists who research and document African American families.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      Great suggestion, True! The reason I did not include them is because of my criteria #2, “Tweets are more than just links to their own blog or website.” But definitely an outstanding account to follow (I do)! 🙂

      Reply
  5. tami

    Wowwee and aw shucks! Thanks for including @confkeep ConferenceKeeper in the list! Laughed at #neversleeps … too true!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      Thank YOU for keeping us all informed, Tami! 🙂

      Reply
  6. TM Lloyd

    Thanks for this list of who to follow. I recently started using Twitter and a blog (still trying to sort that out) for my genealogy research. I added five (I already follow five), I didn’t add the two conference ones because I can’t attend (no money to travel), plus you. I follow GeneaBloggers Tribe on FB and forgot to add them when I started using Twitter.

    Reply
    • Elizabeth O'Neal

      I’m so glad you found the list helpful, TM! It was hard to pick just 12, and there are soooo many more folks to follow on Twitter. I do recommend following @confkeep because not only do they tweet about conferences (local and national), but also about requests for speaker proposals, contests (you can win stuff!), and volunteer opportunities. Take a look at the website here: http://conferencekeeper.org. Good luck with your new blog! 🙂

      Reply

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Elizabeth O'Neal

Elizabeth O'Neal

Genealogist, Writer, Web Developer, Educator

Elizabeth O'Neal is passionate about helping others discover, preserve and share their family stories. She hopes her only descendant will someday develop an interest in her ancestry.

Welcome

Hello, I'm Elizabeth! I'm a genealogist, writer, and educator, and I've been looking for my descendant's ancestors for 3x's longer than she's been alive. I tell some of their stories here, but I also share tech and blogging tips, news, and other stuff I like. I am the host of the Genealogy Blog Party, which I hope you will join! Find out more right here.

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References

  1. While there is some disagreement as to the exact lifespan of a tweet, most experts agree that it is somewhere between 15-18 minutes. For more about this topic, see “Your tweet half-life is 1 billion times shorter than Carbon-14’s” from Wiselytics and “When Is My Tweet’s Prime of Life? (A brief statistical interlude.)” from Moz.
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